According to early trends in Odisha Panchayat polls, the ruling Biju Janata Dal is leading in 249 Zilla Parishad Zones (ZPZ) seats, while BJP candidates are leading in 30 and Congress candidates in 13, officials said on Saturday. The counting of ballots for 315 Zilla Parishad Zone seats began at 8 a.m. on Saturday in various block headquarters, according to State Election Commission (SEC) officials, in strict accordance with COVID-19 norms.
Trends are available for 299 Zilla Parishad seats, with the BJD leading in 249, the BJP in 32, and the Congress in 13, according to the report.
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The remaining 307 ZP zone seats will be counted on February 27 and 229 Zilla Parishad zone seats on February 29, according to the announcement.
If there are any inconsistencies between the presiding officer’s ballot paper account and the real ballot papers in the ballot box, the actual ballot papers in the ballot box will be taken into consideration, and counting and results will be published accordingly, according to SEC secretary R N Sahu.
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From Saturday, the votes will be counted for three days. On February 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24, polling took place in five stages. This time, the overall voter turnout was 78.6%, which was somewhat higher than the previous year’s figure of 78.3%.
According to Sahu, the counting is carried out in strict accordance with COVID-19 requirements, with CCTV cameras mounted in the counting chambers. One counting supervisor, two counting helpers, and a fourth-class employee work at each counting table. The ballot papers are separated by colour and then counted in 50-packet bundles, according to the procedure.
The elections attracted a total of 2.2 lakh candidates. 36,523 ward members, 126 sarpanchs, 326 panchayat samiti members, and one Zilla Parishad member were certified uncontested winners by the SEC.